Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Wonderful Wednesday #208

 {When a much greener wander to and from work looks like this}
Well how do you and how the heck are you?! I'm wondering where where the bobbins my week has gone and with not too much to show for it other than eating, sleeping and working.  I feel as i've barely looked up from 'Lately' and can't wait for a few days off at the end of this week to just be.  I need to get better at looking after myself and stop putting myself last in any given situation.  Why do we do this?!?  Or maybe it's just me.  I spend forever worrying about everyone else so that it takes so much longer for me to realise that i need to just stop for a moment.  

So that's exactly why i'm grateful for my 'Now.'  The weekly ritual of 'downing tools' {whatever they maybe}; stopping and thinking and reflecting on this week so far and all of the little moments of good that would have most likely got lost in the rest of it!  I think i'm overdue a #wonderfulwednesday.....

Snow.  I wonder how many other lovely #wonderfulwednesday writers will be adding this one to their lists this week?!?  I mean YES am i more than ready and so very raring to go for Spring BUT snow is such  a novelty up here.  Even though we're on the very edge of the Lake District, our pretty city is forever in some sort of snow pocket.  Usually this means we miss out on any kind of snow.  Not this week though.  On Tuesday morning i awoke to the sweetest icing sugar-like dusting of the stuff and felt oh-so-cosy watching it fall all fluffy whilst i ate the biggest bowl of banana porridge drizzled with runny honey and sprinkled with toasted seeds.  There's something ever so lovely and hypnotising about watching snow fall, don't you think?!

2.  Mint tea.  I mean if you've never drank mint tea then you've never lived in my opinion.  There's a sentence that places me even higher up the 'rock and roll ladder' if ever there was one or if i wasn't rock and roll enough already!  If you're someone {like me!} who is a worrier or an over thinker or just someone who really struggles not to let things take over a bit too much sometimes and to let things get to them; this is the tea for you.  Mint tea is so calming and soothing on a worried 'self' or a tricky tummy {mine is almost always like a little washing machine!} and there isn't a day goes by when i don't drink at least one floral mug of the stuff. This week it's been keeping me company on too many 'worry-ful' days and reminding me that i can't always be Super Woman nor can i do everything myself AND most importantly, that's ok too.  

3.  Really good bananas.  Not to be scoffed at!  And let me tell you, really hard to come across these days.  I pick ours up either from a local fruit and veg market or from Sainsbury's and they are reliably delicious!  They ripen quick-but-not-too-quick; and go a lovely sweet and sticky caramel-y flavour just PERFECT for squishing into porridge as it blips away on the stove.

4.  Taking the scenic route!  I mean where i can i always will, even if it does  mean adding five or ten minutes onto wherever i'm going.  If i can walk a prettier route {#priorities} chances are i'll arrive at my destination in a generally better frame of mind.  Is that odd?!  This week has been the first week it's been light enough and bright enough for me to take my favourite non-short cut to work via a sweet little cut through the woods and along the river and i'm convinced the extra light plus extra 'green-seen' has been doing me the world of good each day!

5.  Polka dots.  I mean for me it's pretty much always some kind of print but lately had been ALL about dots and spots!  In particular i've really found myself drawn towards black and white spots and have dug out and old spotty frilly blouse i bought forever  ago and have been using any excuse to wear it!  My favourite is teamed with my slouchy grey denim dungarees and oversized rosey pink cable cardigan.  There's something infinitely happy-making about spots.  You can't wear spots and be sad you just can't!

6.  A few days off at the end of the week.  I'm tired this week!  The weary, yawn-y 'needs all of the tea' type tired!  I'm really looking forward to a few days off in a row for some much needed rest AND i'm also off up to Scotland to spend some time with my Mum.  Fresh air and Mum-time, i mean i almost don't want the weekend to come for fear of it disappearing too fast!

7.  The anticipation of a hair cut.  We've chit-chatted alot about haircuts on here and i'm not afraid to tell you {if you don't already know that is} that i really despise getting mine cut.  This time though i feel ready for a little bit more of a change; determined to not just sit down and say 'Can you just take the ends off and really- well - sort of make it look like it hasn't been cut at all' {which i'm sure my hairdresser must just LOVES me for} and more determined to get something a liiiittle different.  I want it a little shorter and with a bit more snazziness.  I would say watch this space BUT don't go expecting anything too groundbreaking - it is me afterall! {NB i do have Pinterest open whilst i write this which is the online equivalent of 'Meaning Business'.}

8.  Tea and sourdough crumpets spread thickly with raspberry jam and zig-zagged with peanut and coconut butter {it's sort of crumpet-y raspberry macaroon-y}.  I don't think this one needs any explanation.  It's my go-to supper before bed if i'm peckish always lately!

*  *  *

And with but a flurry of snow words i'm DONE!  I'm quite surprised i lasted the distance and didn't need a nap at some-point in between points - i feel like i could sleep forever of late!  But that's the true magical power of a #wonderfulwednesday -shaped happy list i guess!  Go forth and hop right on over to Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, and Peta's OH and Ellie's #wonderfulwednesday posts and fill your hearts with all of the great and good from this week so far!
And maybe just maybe i'll see you at the same time next week.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Wonderful Wednesday #207

{Getting that blue-skied 'fix' as and when i can!}
It's only flipping flopping Wednesday again over here already!  I'm more than ready for this weeks' post since as i'm feeling ever so slightly just lacking  in 'va-va-voom' this week somehow.  I've been clinging onto rare sightings of blue skies and sunshine and munching down on a whole rainbow colour of food stuff in a bid to ignite some kind of get up and go-shaped energy in me. Cross all manner of fingers and toes and the like that it'll work!  
How are you and how has your week been?!  Share your rocket fuel please!  What are your secrets?!  I'm very much looking forward to diving into this weeks post in a bid it'll bring me out of my mid-week dip!  There's lots to celebrate and so really there's no excuse at all.  

Let's GO!

1.  Bananas.  Oddly something i never really liked growing up and to be honest have only really started to fully appreciate in the last two years or so {anyone who follows me on Twitter {i'm @sallytangle} will most likely recoil in horror since as bananas are something i tweet about A LOT.  If you know me in real life you'll also vouch that i talk about them more than the average person!} but this week they really have been my everything.  There is not a lot that a perfectly ripe banana cannot fix and not much in the whole wide world that beats a really, really ripe and spottily ripened banana mashed into porridge whilst it's cooking.  It gives the most caramel-y sweet and silky porridge and topped with peanut butter well quite frankly it's a DREAM.  I generally also always have one stashed in my bag to munch on my half hour or so walk home each day and i'd probably eat another in a day if i didn't think that three was too much.  Is three too much?!?  I mean, who's counting?!

2.  Topping toast.  Sorry this has all started out so food-heavy but what can i say?!  Lately i have been really very hungry feeling!  We always do our grocery shop on a Tuesday evening and so i can never really be too bothered putting too much effort into what i make for supper that night.  The Mr has gotten himself into a nice habit of just picking up a pizza and i have gotten myself into a nice habit of having what i'll call 'Creatively Topped Toast.'  I flippin' LOVE it.  This week i had toasted sourdough spread thickly with beetroot and mint hummus and dotted with teaspoons of really thick and creamy cottage cheese.  I then top, top, topped it all off with pea shoots and a squeeze of lemon and it was the BEES KNEES.  Is it weird that i look forward to it all week day?!

3.  Milder weather.  Yes not just sunshine but real life 'I'm actually too warm in my cardigan, tights and dress' at work on Tuesday evening.  Progress is being made dear ones and i for one am VERY excited!  It's only in the real thick of Winter that you just can't imagine ever feeling warm enough to wear any less than three layers and tights that almost go right up to your chin.  This week we've made progress and it fills me with so much love for what's to come!!! Is that weird?!  

4.  Vegetable market shopping.  I might be the only person that gets excited about this but golly GOSH do i love shopping for vegetables at little markets.  There are hardly any up here but what there IS, is a sweet little farmers market at one of our local garden centres and if we are both off together on a Sunday we always have a little drive up and pick up our weekly fruit and vegetables from there.  Not only are they so much cheaper but they're much fresher and taste so much better!  This weeks highlights already have been the shiniest and reddest crispy crunchy apples which i have been very much enjoying dipping into almond butter as after work snacks; the hugest bright orange carrots which we roasted until they went all caramelised and sticky and then tossed in runny honey and wholegrain mustard AND the curliest most fresh-tasting peashoots i have been scattering across everything i can.  Oh and sometimes just eating straight from the bag.  OH AND BANANAS!  But i feel like my 'banana chat' might have hit peak already this week *covers eyes.*

5.  Pyjamas, tea and buttery shortbread.  I mean it's probably not the best habit to pick up but lately it's been all about snuggling down under a little blanket on the sofa and dunking buttery shortbread fingers into hot milky chai tea before bed.  I keep thinking i should make some shortbread and wonder why you never hear of cinnamon shortbread?!  Sounds like a dream to me!  Maybe with a little brown sugar dusted on top?! Maybe that's what i'll do on my day off this week.

6.  Lighter mornings.  I mean you all know how much of a morning person i am.  Or if you didn't  you can probably work it out from all of the porridge talk and witterings about daylight most weeks.  Even i struggle a little on the darker winter mornings but this week feels SO much lighter than last!  In fact it was SO blue-skied and 'awake' out there on Monday that i actually had a mini-panic i'd somehow set my alarm wrong and was late for work!  I can't wait until i can eat my breakfast without the lamp on.  Or better still:  With the french doors open and my feet dangling into the garden.  Or am i getting a little bit ahead of myself?!?

7.  The smell of Spring.  You know i wish i could bottle it and keep it forever.  Surely you've noticed it too?!  Long gone are my races home nuzzled down into my scarf; mittened hands shoved into pockets and icy air catching in my throat as the smell of coal fires and icy-trodden ground tickles my nose.  Oh no!  Lately has been for ever so slightly lingering and for less rushing and noticing the gentle in and out of each breath and more than that:  breathing in the sweet scent of green.  That's the only way to describe it:  All lighter, fresher and cleaner somehow.  I feel like i arrive home feeling a little bit better for the long walk home and far less frost bitten with a numb nose!  It's been really rather lovely.

8.   A simple blue sky.  Yes, i know i can hear you!  Surely there's nothing fancy about that?!  But when you don't see one all too often or at least it doesn't feel like you do it's really flipping lovely.  The sun was so bright on Tuesday afternoon and the sky such a vivid shade of blue that it made the cotton wool clouds look as bright and as a jolly as a good boil wash might have had them and i had to squint to even look at them properly!  Once my eyes adjusted it made me ever so grateful for simple loveliness of nothing but a blue sky!  Maybe i need to get out more?!?

9.  A freshly cut fringe courtesy of moi.  More than well overdue and probably the reason that Tuesday's blue sky looked even more lovely - because i could actually see it.  Hurrah for being reunited with my eyes and eyebrows and for not having to flick, flick, flick it out of them at least a million times a day and even more hurrahs for it only improving the look of the rest of my messy mop or at least distracting from it by being all neat and tidy and straight once more!  Note to self:  MUST book a haircut next month!

*  *  *
And i'm only jolly well done again ALREADY!  Who can believe that we're here again and rocketting forward through this month at an alarming rate?!  I'm trying my best to notice the 'Now' and not to wish it all away so fast.  I feel like Spring is such a precious season because it feels so short in comparison to Winter, don't you agree?!  It's this little corner that keeps me counting and helps me grateful whilst also noticing the tiniest little details of my week.  

Enough about me!  Skip your little selves right on over to Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, and Peta's OH and lovely lovely Ellie's  blogs to catch up with their very own #wonderfulwednesday s and rejoice in whatever has been making them smile this week so far.  Don't forget to join in across all social media using the #wonderfulwednesday tag so we can all see and join in too!
And maybe I'll see you same time next week??!

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Wonderful Wednesday #206

{More please!}
Good day to you and your beautiful face!  Thank you already for giving this little spot your time and your eyes for even just a few moments.  Always know that i am forever grateful for that.  I wish that i could thank you all personally because you're just the loveliest bunch and this post is so much more than the little silly weekly list that it once started out as a long, long time ago.  It's motivating to write, inspirational to think of and sometimes drags me out of a miserable fed-up place that nothing else will shake.  It forces me to look at the little maybe insignificant things that maybe i'd have otherwise overlooked.  It makes me treasure them more than maybe i would have and more than that, it can't help but make me count my blessings and remember how lucky i am in the grand scheme of things. 

Yes this little #wonderfulwednesday isn't little at all.  It's mighty and feel-good and wonderful by name and nature and ALL that it means and this week feels like one of those weeks where i just appreciate it and those who drop by and who kindly {oh so very very kindly} join in, without fail each and every week.  Thank you from the bottom of my little heart!

Somebody stop me!  Let's get listing before this becomes more 'Oscar's speech' than #wonderfulwednesday.... 

1.   Extra light.  I feel like if i had a chart i'd most definitely be marking the odd few minutes extra of the stuff each and every day.  It really is making a difference to me so much!  This Winter has felt the longest and greyest and so very lacking in light!  An odd day of sunshine here and there just isn't enough somehow.  I'm longing for longer lighter days and some more colour!  I shouldn't say it but.....  HURRY UP SPRING!

2.  Jacket potatoes.  One of the most underrated meals on the whole entire planet and one that i've seriously got out of the habit of making for far too long but am simultaneously making as many times as i can get away with lately.  Well at least once a week for the past couple.  Infact i can't believe we haven't talked about them here before!  Or have we?!  How do you take yours?!  Ours have been rubbed with olive oil and dusted with dried rosemary, thyme and oregano and baked slowly in the oven {if you microwave yours then i'm sorry we can't be friends anymore} and then dotted with salty butter, seasalt and piled high with homemade baked beans in tomato sauce with smoked paprika and chilli and then served with crumbled feta and rocket.  Yes i always burn my mouth and yes i always eat it too fast but MAN ALIVE is it worth the pain and little bit of indigestion!

3.   Fresh flowers.  See point one and serious lack of any kind of light sunlight most days lately.  I've been fixing my frown with the brightest flowers i can find and this week i deviated from my faithful daffodils {i know who am i?!  A dare devil that's who!} and instead got all extravagant and bought myself the hugest bunch of sunshine-y yellow tulips.  So huge infact that they fill two jars.  They're serious cheerer uppers and the epitome of inside sunshine!

4.  Stripes.  I know, I know i'm nothing if not a bit predictable and a lot of a broken Spring record lately {bear with} BUT they're just my jam come anytime of year to be honest.  It's just getting closer and closer to being able to wear them without a billion layers over the top and that makes my heart happy!  These past few days have been all about black and white striped polo necks worn with my all-time favourite black dungarees.  I love that it's the comfiest outfit for at home and after work worn with my sheepskin slippers and cosy 'bobbled to blazes' cream cable cardigan BUT it works just as well with a slick of eyeliner, a red beret, stripey socks and clumpy clogs for out and about.  I say this, but when am i ever out and about?!  

5.  Adele.  This gal never gets old and her music, golly gosh it just tugs at my heart so very much.  This week i've had her albums in my ears at every given opportunity and sang till tears rolled down my little cheeks on a fair few occasions also.  Not sad tears so much, just the emotional kind.  I'm singin' and typin' as i write this {but no tears i promise!} because are you even a real Adele fan if you don't pretend to 'play' the computer keyboard at the same time?!?  You know what to blame any spelling mistakes on this week..... 

6.   Hair washing.  Little and silly but happy-making all the same and exactly what these kinds of lists are made for.  It's odd to think that i used to get up and wash and dry my hair each and every morning just a few years ago.  Now i shower each evening before bed and try to make that hair washing 'lark' only once a week if i can stretch it out, if not then at least four to five days between!  I wont lie, it can be a challenge and it's a jolly great job that i flippin' love hats too because they're great hair-wash savers too!  The thought of having to wash and dry my hair just might be the most un-appealing job on the planet.  Except once i actually do, the feeling of clean hair is just utter bliss:  The wafty coconut-y scent whenever you swish-swash around and about and the shinyness of it all too!  It makes me almost want to get up an hour earlier.

Wait.  No it doesn't.  I'll settle for appreciating it even more since as it doesn't happen as often as maybe it should?!  In all fairness my hair condition has never been better!  
7.  The thought of two days off together after six in a row.    I am reveling in this feeling now and wishing so much that i could press pause.  I'm so very tired and it's so rare in my job to get two days off together.  I feel so much more rested and productive when i do.  I can't wait for no alarm, for crumpets for breakfast and for fresh-air walks and and just stopping and being.  You '9 'till 5-ers' are lucky ducks you know.....

8.   Blood oranges.  Bought on a whim after having a serious craving for citrus!  The prettiest blush pink oranges cut into wedges and gobbled up greedily they were so delicious.  I only had four and could have happily eaten the lot but i chose to savour them.  I'm actually considering having them with pancakes later.  I'm thinking grated orange zest folded through the better and serving them with demarera sugar and squeezed juice and maybe a dollop of creme fraiche.  What do you reckon?!?

*  *  *

And we're done!  Tip-tapped at lightening speed and the most cathartic thing to do when you're feeling so sleepy and tired and less than your best!  I'm so  very grateful that this silly little 'not so silly now' idea that came to me...well two hundred and six posts ago.  What's that? Is that almost four years of them!? CRIKEY!  What i'm more grateful for though is that beautiful group of inspirational, encouraging and damned right brilliant {each in their own right too} of gals that join in each week.  Don't you dare rest until you've hopped right on over to Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, and Peta's OH and lovely lovely Ellie's  #wonderfulwednesday posts and filled your little boots with even more lovely than you can manage.  Because if there's one thing you can never have enough of, it's #wonderfulwednesday happy lists.  

Am i right?!

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Wonderful Wednesday #205

{February, is that you?!}
Hello and happy mid-week. We've made it can you believe it?!  My mid-week already feels like an end of the week so i'm wondering if i might just collapse in a heap when it hits friday!  It's a good tired though.  I've been productive, and helpful and i've pushed myself and done my best and given all that i've got and that, is celebration in itself.  Even the quiet kind of high five to yourself or an attempt to squirrel away this feeling for another week which might not have felt quite so....successful. 

I'm jumping right in this week with the greatest #wonderfulwednesday list of lovely.... 

1.  Hazelnut milk.  One of the many things that have been bringing me comfort this week and what goes with chocolate better than anything?!?  HAZELNUTS.  I swear to goodness, it's forever my porridge milk of choice because paired with a really ripe mashed banana {or indeed a couple of fudgy medjool dates should you not be fond of a banana} and a heaped tablespoon or raw cacao powder?  Well those very few ingredients equal the most indulgent tasting and most comforting porridge that there is and one that i've been turning too pretty much every work morning lately.

2.  Snow.  Because despite what you might believe we always miss the stuff in the little pocket of Cumbria i live in!  It can be full on fluffy snowflakes and white carpets aplenty everywhere else in the county but where i live is a pretty little pocket of...well non-snow!  Until Tuesday of this week!  Yes, this Tuesday.  Yesterday.  The day i started work at 6am and had to get up and 4.30am and refused the offer of a lift despite the forecast because 'Oh don't be silly they always get it wrong it wont snow here.'  Snow it did!  Allbeit for only four hours or so but it was enough for it to 'stick' and for it to create a Narnia-esque canopy above my umbrella and cling gently onto each branch it touched which made for a pretty magical wander to work even if it was slippy-slidey AND my little fingers were so cold i could barely feel them through my woollen mittens.  I wish i'd had more time to appreciate it!  Even so it was a pretty sight all of the same!

3.  More comfort food.  This time in the form of toasted dark rye sourdough with salty butter, bitter marmalade and......wait for it, the sheer and GENIUS crowning glory:  A great big zig-zag of peanut butter.  Oh MY.  Why oh why had i totally and completely forgotten the sheer joy that is peanut butter and any kind of jam or marmalade.  OR infact lemon curd.  That, i've never tried but a lovely lady i served at work the other day mentioned it after we chatted for a solid ten whole minutes about our favourite nut butters.  Is it weird that i wished we could have gone for a cup of tea to carry on our important conversation?  Probably.  Either way, we were totally on the same page nut butter-wise and that lemon curd revelation?!  GOLD.  If i didn't have a million jars of various un-lemon curd type preserves i'd already be all over that one.  Watch this space/post. 

4.   Super power. There's a weird sort of determined, little bit stressed and generally superhero-shaped energy that comes from me when i'm deleriously tired and sleep deprived.  In an odd way, it's good for me every once in a while.  Yes Tuesday's super duper smashingly long shift was longer, but man alive did i tick, tick, TICK some stuff off a list that has been growing at alarming rate since last weekend.  And even if i'm struggling to keep my eyes open as i type this to you on Tuesday evening pre-supper {i worried that if i ate there'd be even more of a chance of me falling asleep!} i feel a a big sense of satisfaction and like i've really made the very most of each second of Tuesday and barely stopped for a single second.  

5.  Nigella seeds.  Or black onion seeds.  Or as i like to affectionately call them:  Game Changers.  Is it me or does this post just get cooler each week?  Weirdly {for me!} not a seed i'd put anywhere near my toast, porridge or crumpet BUT the very best kind of seed all of the same!  Predictably adding a savoury onion-y but more than normal onion-y {see THIS is why i will never write a cook book anybody will want to read!} note to anything in it's path.  I've been adding them to crispy oven-roasted jacket potatoes: Cutting down the middle, adding lots of sea salt and black pepper and them smooshing in some Nigella seeds and salty butter - SO GOOD.  I've also added them into cheese scones instead of mustard aaaand sprinkled them into spiced carrot and turmeric soup and the other week i threw some into some cauliflower florets that needed using up; tossed them in turmeric and olive oil and lots of black pepper and roasted them until they went crispy and dipped them in hummus.  The JOY!  OH i eeeven threw some on top of the cream cheese i spread on top of an onion bagel the other day.  Mind.  Blown. Pleeease try them, they're SO GOOD.  Must stop talking about food, must stop talking about food! 

6.  A mustard beret.  Silly but true.  That little pop of sunshiney yellow has given me SUCH joy this week.  I've been wearing it to work and even throughout the day inside work too.  I wont lie, at first it was largely due to a) feeling freezing cold and b) shunning a morning hair wash on far too many occasions in favour of the extra half an hour under the duvet {have i mentioned my 6am start yet?!}  but the more i've worn it, the more i feel all sad and sorry and lacking somehow when i'm not.  It goes with all manner of colours {more than you'd think!} and i'm especially enjoying pairing it alongside a dusky pink. I feel a little bit Battenburg-esgue and when has Battenberg ever been a bad thing?!?!

7.  Mint tea.  Oh ho HO oh YES another week another tea.  Mint for calming me, inside and out and for making me feel refreshed and somehow oddly cleansed of the long and busy day that has gone before.  Mint tea is severely underrated in my opinion.  

8.  Polo necks.  Not only reserved for the 1980's or so it seems.  I picked up a couple over Winter and i'm really rather loving the extra cosiness that can only come from having your neck covered up.  Polo necks and berets in one week you say?!  And mint tea?  When is it i collect my pension and bus pass again?!  

9.  The end of January.  Ah the start of February.  The start of a month that felt like it took approximately ninety-nine million other months to get to.  Since when did December feel like it had sixty-two days and not thirty-one?!  For someone who spends forever complaining harping on about life and it's break-neck speed, even i couldn't believe how long and grey and positively eternity-like January felt this year.  I'm still riding on that new month high and i'm only the more propelled forward by so much more light; by blue-er skies, greener everythings and the the feeling that Spring really is on the horizon.  I've never given February much favour before but i'm quietly learning to value maybe even more of a fresh start feeling than January the first?!?  How strange.

*  *  *

And i'm done.  I'm so very 'done' that i feel a little bit crazed and delirious from tiredness.  I'm actually worried that when i actually do stop after writing this outro; that i might fall off my seat and sleep on the floor until morning and wake up with carpet creases on my cheeks!  It's ok though.  I'm having avocado and ricotta cheese on toast and i'm beyond excited.  That in itself is more than enough to stay awake for if you ask me. 

Hows your week shaping up!?  Don't forget to hop right on over to the #wonderfulwednesday gang's posts {Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, and Peta's OH and lovely lovely Ellie's post!  A lovely new and shiny recruit to the #wonderfulwednesday gang!} and to check out some equally lovely and super duper happy propelling goodness to get you to Friday!  What's been making your week merry and great?!  Share below or better still shout about it across social media using the #wonderfulwednesday tag so we can all see and can join in!
Have a lovely week!


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